Our Scottish ancestry is rich in Celtic traditions
The Celts follow an Earth based seasonal wheel. The Celtic year is divided into two halves, the dark beginning with Samhain and the light beginning with Beltane. In between these are Imbolc and Lughnasadh/Lammas. These key points of the Celtic year were recognized as doorways, when the veil between the worlds are thinnest.
We’re all familiar with the solstices as they are noted as the longest (summer) and shortest (winter) days of the year. The word is derived from the Latin sol meaning sun and sistere meaning to stand still.
Equinoxes also occur twice a year, when day and night are equal lengths. In fact, the word is derived from the Latin aequus meaning equal and nox meaning night.
Today is Litha (pronounced LEE-tha)
Here we are, at the peak of the Solar year. Litha (mid-summer) is the summer solstice, astronomically the longest day of the year, and falls between June 21st and 22nd.
The Goddess is pregnant with Child and the Sun God is at the height of His virility. This is a time to celebrate achievements, embrace the abundance of the Earth, and experience the joys of fertility.
Fire represents the sun, a constant and daily reminder of the power of the God. In ancient times, Celts would light balefires on hills and sacred places from sunset the night before Midsummer until the sunset of the following day. They would stay up all night, dancing around or leaping through the fires, to welcome the sunrise. Afterwards, the coals would be scattered in the fields to ensure a good harvest.
Today, especially if a cloudy or rainy day, a candle should be lit for the entire day.
Litha was the time to formalize handfastings, couples together for a year and a day, from the previous Beltane. A time to renew wedding vows.
Decorate your home with dried herbs, potpourri, seashells, summer flowers, and fruits. Scents to include are sage, mint, basil, Saint John’s Wort, sunflower, lavender.
How about giving one of these a try?
- Build a sundial
- Make Lavender Syrup (here’s one such recipe: Lavender Simple Syrup)
- Wildcrafting in the woods (grab a book or pamphlet on local edible herbs and berries you can forage)
- Hit the beach (gather shells, bits of driftwood, or other interesting goodies you can use for magic)
- Litha is all about the sunny weather – get outside and enjoy it!
May your joys be contagious to others today and always!